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Meeting, deadline approach for Kauffman internship program

March 6, 2009

Students interested in the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Community Internship Program (KECIP), an innovative opportunity for students to become social entrepreneurs, are invited to attend an informational session on Wednesday, March 11.

The session, scheduled from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Memorial Union (see Today in the Union), will provide important guidance for those who intend to submit project proposals for the 2009-10 academic year. Those proposals are due by Friday, April 24.

The program provides graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to become social entrepreneurs who inspire transformational changes in their communities and in their own lives and get paid for doing it.

“Students who participate in the KECIP gain hands-on experience that will guide them through the remainder of their career path as well as their life,” says Ben Rodriguez, assistant dean of the College and Letters of Science and adviser to the KECIP program. “We here at UW–Madison are thrilled to be continuing this program in 2009 and to see the impact that students will have in their community projects.”

KECIP, which began in 2008 through a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, aims to create lasting, sustainable change in the community and in the lives of its participants.

Current KECIP projects include a partnership between the university and a workers’ rights organization; a cultural documentary to appreciate and understand the black experience at UW–Madison; and the continuation of planning and development support to the Red Cliff Tribal Library, including network-building between Red Cliff, the university, the library and information community, and other tribes across the state.

“This is an exciting project in real social change, and it will be a chance for our organization to grow collectively from within, in terms of our visions, our power and our skills,” says Kristen Petroshius of Operation Home, who is working with 2009 KECIP participant Allison Brooks in a homelessness intervention aiming to use theater as a tool to understand and combat its causes.

The program continues UW–Madison’s positive legacy of service seen in the recent President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll award that the university received for exemplary volunteer efforts and service to America’s communities.

“We here at the UW realize that one of the most effective ways that students can learn both professionally and personally is through service,” says professor Michael Thornton of the Morgridge Center for Public Service. “The KECIP is an integral facet of this goal, allowing any UW student to work for the common good via projects with various community organizations.”

Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for the program and may participate individually or as a group of five or fewer students.

KECIP internships vary in length and may begin as early as this summer. Students accepted in the program will receive a stipend ranging from $2,000-$5,000, depending on the length of their internship. The partnering community organization will be awarded an additional $1,000 stipend to offset program implementation costs.

Interested students need to submit their project proposals to the Morgridge Center by Friday, April 24, for the 2009-10 academic year. Students may choose from a wide array of projects or create their own. All projects should take place in Dane, Ashland or Milwaukee counties.

For more information regarding the KECIP or how to apply, contact Rodriguez at or Thornton at